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The Latest: Commissioner praises veterans for speaking out

February 18, 2018

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest from Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game and events around the league’s annual showcase (all times local):

2:05 p.m.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver doubled down on his support of players speaking out on social and political issues, opening his comments at the Legends Brunch by thanking the veterans for setting the tone for current players.

“Bill Russell was recognized before, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, I could go down the list of so many others here who created that tradition for the players in the NBA, who gave them the safety and comfort to speak out on issues that are important to them as they do today,” Silver said Sunday.

“I’m so proud of that legacy,” added the commissioner, who praised the current players on Saturday . “So thank you to all of the people in this room.”

The issue of players publicly speaking out on various issues surfaced during All-Star weekend after Fox News host Laura Ingraham criticized three-time NBA champion LeBron James for his recent comments. James previously responded with an Instagram post containing similar sentiments.

During the Legends Brunch, four players were honored: Jerry West, Magic Johnson, Bill Walton, and James Worthy.

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12:45 a.m.

The NBA’s All-Star version of a pickup game is taking center stage in Hollywood.

The 67th version of the All-Star Game on Sunday night features teams picked by captains LeBron James and Stephen Curry. Dispensing with the usual East vs. West format, the league is creating a new look to its annual showcase with teams picked regardless of geography.

That’s how Curry and Golden State teammates Klay Thompson and Draymond Green will be going against Kevin Durant, and how James will play alongside Oklahoma City duo Russell Westbrook and Paul George.

Boston teammates Kyrie Irving and Al Horford are on opposing teams. Irving is on the same team as James, several months after Irving broke up their Cleveland partnership by forcing a trade.

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